Like everyone reading this, I have been on the receiving end of betrayal. I know the pain associated with that; the righteous wrath stemming from the duplicity; the confusion of “Why?!” But I have also been the betrayer; the Judas. And that ain’t easy to admit, or deal with.
Long after receiving forgiveness from others for my betrayals, I wrestled with them. I would give them to God for a short time, and then take that weight back onto my shoulders, basically using God just when I needed a break. Honestly, there are still times (though rarely now) when I shoulder those chains, as if I am trying them on for size, making sure they still fit and don’t make my butt look big. I always have been, and continue to be my biggest critic.
God forgives the moment we repent. People take a little longer, sometimes never really coming around to whole-hearted forgiveness. Self forgiveness can take forever, literally. Speaking as one who still has quite a ways to go on this path, when we fail to forgive ourselves, we are denying the power of God and the work that Jesus died on the cross for us to have.
Unfortunately, the enemy gets in our heads and reminds us of our transgressions. He whispers to us about how if put in the same situations, we would react exactly the same as we did in the past. Until we are able to forgive ourselves, we will never be entirely set free.
Jesus gives us the gift of forgiveness, but instead of accepting it gladly and with joy, we ignore it. This mocks the giver and leaves him feeling unappreciated.
Judas was too ashamed after his betrayal of Jesus to seek him out and beg his forgiveness, and his guilt ate him up. He hung himself rather than live with that pain. But Jesus knew what Judas was going to do before even Judas knew! Is there any doubt that the Son of Man would have forgiven him immediately?
We mess up. Every one of us does it. Face it and know that if you honestly repent (turn around) then you are forgiven. Your debt is paid. Allow the Spirit in to heal your heart and start to see yourself as God means for you to be. See your past through the blood of Christ and understand that you are no longer that person. You are a new creation, or born again, if you will.
Do you want to bring glory and honor to Jesus? Then accept His gift with great joy, and begin to see yourself as that new creation… begin to see your past failures as being “paid in full” by the great sacrifice that Christ made for you. Begin to see you the same way that your Heavenly Father sees you!
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